What happens to a church that closes? This is a question I’ve researched for a few years in the context of closed Catholic parishes, with funding support from the Louisville Institute. A new article from CityLab brings attention to one outcome for closed church properties: the transition to affordable housing. Thanks to reporter Alex Wittenberg for interviewing me for this story:
These are the words that Kevin J. Christiano uses to describe American Parishes: Remaking Local Catholicism, a book I edited with Gary Alder and Brian Starks (2019, Fordham University Press). Christiano brings the reader in with the following personalized account in his review:
We are grateful for Christiano’s careful read and positive review that concludes with “This is a book that ought to inspire and orient new and better research about the life of the Catholic Church in the United States and the parishes in which it is lived every day of the year.”
Invited lectures necessarily get creative during this time! Thanks to the Community of Saint Peter in Cleveland, Ohio, for welcoming me – virtually – into their homes to deliver a talk entitled “Empty Pews” about the religiously non-affiliated. This was a great chance to share ten “storylines” emergent from conversations with “nones” around the United States. Why do people shed former religious identities? What explains why more and more Americans identify with “nothing in particular” when it comes to religion? I was grateful for the opportunity to talk through responses to these questions with such an engaged (Zoom!) audience!
I am honored to receive word of my election to Council for the Association for the Sociology of Religion (ASR). This is a great organization with a supportive network of scholars in the sociology of religion and related fields. Its Sociology of Religion journal ranks among the top in the sub-discipline. While we won’t be able to meet for ASR 2020 in San Francisco as originally planned, I’m already looking forward to ASR 2021 in Chicago.
Who’s leaving Catholicism? This was one of the driving questions behind a documentary project of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) for which I was invited to consult. Who leaves? Half of American Catholics do, at some point in their lives. View this documentary video to learn more, including how Catholic leaders are thinking through a response.
I enjoyed my conversation with Iowa Catholic Radio’s latest episode of “Straight Talk” hosted by Jeanne Wells, during which we talked about Catholics in and out of the church. Social distancing from the church is not a new phenomenon! Listen to the show here or on any podcast player.
In this extraordinary time, we recognize just how connected we are to one another. Thanks to WBIR for the invitation to speak to concerns raised by Covid-19 and the collective network of support its response requires. Grateful to join a panel in-studio as well as doing this interview earlier in the week.
The trial and conviction of Harvey Weinstein signals an important outcome of global efforts to address sexual harassment in the workplace.
Thanks to WBIR for the invitation to talk through what this conviction says about social movements and their promise for lasting social change.
The Proceedings of the Sixth Biennial Conference on Religion and American Culture held last June in Indianapolis, IN are now available online.
They include a written version of an invited panel I participated in on the topic of religion and refugees. Thanks to Indiana University-Purdue’s Center for the Study of Religion and American Culture and Religion & American Culture: A Journal of Interpretation for hosting this collegial conversation.
The Review of Religious Research journal has published an advance online version of my 2019 H. Paul Douglass Lecture, “I Can’t Keep Quiet: Engaging with Scholarly Research on Religion.” I was honored to deliver this address to the annual meeting of the Religious Research Association and Society for the Scientific Study of Religion. A print version is forthcoming in the RRR journal.